Stairs of a Bygone Era

These are the solid marble stairs in the Town Hall, Brisbane. I whacked on the kit lens to get a wider shot but forgot to adjust the iso setting to compensate for being indoors and the f/3.5 aperture of the kit lens. This photo came out almost black, and I've pulled it back with some post processing.

This photo has now made it to Explore - #424 Dec 11th 2006.

View all photos taken: Monday, 11th December 2006, This photo: 3:37pm

Next Photo: Green Hall


  • rainforest_harley said:
    Looks haunted to me

  • benefit of hindsight said:
    Well I love the way it turned out. Does look a bit like a spooky haunted mansion or something. Marvellous effect!
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks RH :) I figured that once I'd mucked up the shot I might as well make an interesting rescue attempt.
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks David :) The stairs are actually pretty bright (white marble), but the late 1920's decor really helps with the effect.
  • Mark McCowen said:
    A wonderful mistake, David! I think your post processing really pulled this shot together. I agree with the others that this looks very spooky and haunted. Adding to my fav list.
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks heaps Mark :) I'll post a small original shot below for comparison.
  • David de Groot said:
    The before shot.

    Stairs (before the rescue job)
  • benefit of hindsight said:
    Safe to say that you really did wonders with post-processing :-)
  • David de Groot said:
    I'm surprised really at how much detail the camera recorded despite my complete failure. With a little exposure adjustment of the RAW file and a monochrome red filter and sepia toning, it came up fairly bright. I then added a custom vignette for effect in photoshop and there you have it :)
  • benefit of hindsight said:
    I have no idea about RAW myself but I would assume this to be one of the great differences and advantages to shooting RAW over JPG. A lot more information stored and hidden away than is immediately apparent.
  • Museum of Dirt said:
    I have no idea what you did, even though I just read it, but whatever you did, it looks great.
  • David de Groot said:
    I think it's more the large sensor than the raw file format David, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks museumofdirt :)
  • Felix42 contra la censura said:
    I will now look upon those stairs somewhat differently... they do look ethereal. Thanks for imparting so much atmosphere David!
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks Rachel :) 'twas a fun exercise.
  • Margot- said:
    You really did a nice job here, David. I like the the spookiness of it.
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks Margot :)
  • horstgeorg said:
    Very great shot ! ! ! !
  • photo by Alison said:
    If it's haunted then who's that walking down the stairs??????

    Great Composition, David! Love the result (even tho I have no idea either about how you did it!!!) smiles.
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks Horst :)

    The only potentially tricky part Alison is the vignetting, but I have a photoshop action for that. :)
  • januaryman said:
    I also have shots that look impossible - way over or under-exposed- and when I play with them, the most amazing things appear. Just like this one! I love it. Bravo!

    Seen in the Post-Production discussion of The World Through My Eyes - Post 2 / Comment Any 1. (?)
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks again januaryman - yep I'm quite impressed with just how much information is captured by the camera despite having the exposure all wrong.
  • borealnz said:
    Wow David, great work here -I love the end result and yes I agree it does look somewhat haunted! I shoot everything in RAW now and while the processing takes a while it is definitely worth it!
    Thanks for sharing in our Rescued by Post-Production theme at
    The World Through My Eyes
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks Jill :)

    Yeah I've switch to RAW myself for all my shots. I like knowing I have a lossless original (like a negative) of my shots. Only problem is they're large (10Mb each) and I need to use the PC to develop them as the old iBook is way too slow.
  • Maki_C30D said:
    great work, David!!
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks Maria :)
  • SkyShaper said:
    some days we take photos
    other days we take something extraordinary
    this is one of those other days!!!

    great work
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks SkyShaper :) Much appreciated!